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September 14th, 2013
08:01 AM ET

Hey atheists, let’s make a deal

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN

(CNN) - Famed atheist Richard Dawkins has been rightfully criticized this week for saying the “mild pedophilia” he and other English children experienced in the 1950s “didn’t cause any lasting harm.”

This comes after an August tweet in which Dawkins declared that “all the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.”

Dawkins is known for pushing his provocative rhetorical style too far, providing ample ammunition for his critics, and already I’ve seen my fellow Christians seize the opportunity to rail against the evils of atheism.

As tempting as it is to classify Dawkins’ views as representative of all atheists, I can’t bring myself to do it.

I can’t bring myself to do it because I know just how frustrating and unfair it is when atheists point to the most extreme, vitriolic voices within Christianity and proclaim that they are representative of the whole.

So, atheists, I say we make a deal: How about we Christians agree not to throw this latest Richard Dawkins thing in your face and you atheists agree not to throw the next Pat Robertson thing in ours?

Now I’m not saying we just let these destructive words and actions go—not at all. It’s important for both believers and atheists to decry irresponsible views and hateful rhetoric, especially from within our own communities.

(Believe me. There are plenty of Christians who raise hell every time Robertson says something homophobic or a celebrity pastor somewhere says something misogynistic.)

READ MORE: Why millennials are leaving the church

But what if we resist the urge to use the latest celebrity gaffe as an excuse to paint one another with broad brushes?

What if, instead of engaging the ideas of the most extreme and irrational Christians and atheists, we engaged the ideas of the most reasonable, the most charitable, the most respectful and respected?

Only then can we avoid these shallow ad hominem attacks and instead engage in substantive debates that bring our true differences and our true commonalities to light.

It’s harder to go this route, and it takes more work and patience, but I’m convinced that both Christians and atheists are interested in the truth and in searching for it with integrity, without taking the easy way out.

Pope Francis took a step in that direction this week with a letter in a Rome newspaper responding directly to questions posed by its atheist director and inviting respectful open dialog between nonbelievers and Christians.

READ MORE: Why millennials need the church

So, yes, Richard Dawkins is an atheist. But so are authors Greg Epstein and Susan Jacoby. So is my friend and fellow blogger Hemant Mehta. So is Sir Ian McKellen. So is ethicist Peter Singer, who may or may not be the best example.

And yes, Pat Robertson is a Christian. But so is Nelson Mandela. So is acclaimed geneticist Francis Collins. So is Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee. So is Barack Obama. So is Stephen Colbert.

And I'm willing to bet that the same collective groan emitted by millions of Christians each time Pat Robertson says something embarrassing on TV sounds a lot like the collective groan emitted by millions of atheists when Richard Dawkins rants on Twitter.

Still, in the end, it’s not about who has the most charismatic or generous personalities in their roster, nor about who has the most “crazies.” It’s about the truth.

So let’s talk about the truth, and with the people who most consistently and graciously point us toward it.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "A Year of Biblical Womanhood" and "Evolving in Monkey Town." Evans blogs at rachelheldevans.com, and the views expressed in this column belong to her.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity • Faith

soundoff (5,916 Responses)
  1. Time For You To Grow Up...

    “The difference between faith and insanity is that faith is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence, whereas insanity is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence.”

    William Harwood

    September 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  2. Ric Williams

    Interesting perspective but the comparison between Dawkins and Robertson has some huge flaws. Dawkins says some stupid things, certainly, but the statements represented here are not related to atheism in any way and he is not openly representing atheists when he says them. When Robertson speaks, however, his gaffes are primarily about his christian perspective on a wide variety of human topics and he is endorsed and supported by millions of christians when he does it. Does this author really expect people to accept that a small number of stupid statements that have nothing to do with atheism are equal in weight to all of the attacks by christians on anybody who is not christian?

    September 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  3. Darwin was right

    Hey Christians – here's a DEAL: You stop claiming that I will go to HELL if I don't worship a 2000 year old dead carpenter with long hair and a beard, and I'll stop claiming that to be a Christian you have to throw out all logic and reliance on objective evidence. How about it?

    September 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Yea, but you left yourself open to a Muslim holding a sword to your throat until you see his way of thinking. or a Hare Krishna to rattle his tambourine at you until he gets the same result.

      September 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Mark

      Hey Darwin explain something from nothing. Don't try you have no evidence.

      September 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
      • Ted

        Mark,

        1. Look up "argument from ignorance". Honestly not having an answer is better than assuming a god made it. And takes more guts.
        2. Too bad your mother married such a close cousin. You are the result.
        3. Review 1-3 a few times. You are a pretty slow learner.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        • Mark

          Another atheist pretending to know it all. You know 1 1/millioninth of what there is to know including me. But as an atheist you will pretend to know and stay ignorant.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
        • Joan

          Mark, you come across as the more ignorant one here. Looks like you really should follow Ted's directions and do some googling, since argument from ignorance does look to be the position you are taking.

          September 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
      • Pot, meet Kettle

        Prove there was nothing and we'll talk about it.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
      • Darwin was right

        For the last 200 years desperate Christians have been saying, "If science can't explain it, then God must exist." For example, it was believed that NO substances found in humans or animals could be made synthetically in the laboratory, because these were substances that only GOD COULD MAKE. This was disproved in 1828 when Dr. Woehler made urea – found in urine – syntthetically. Now we routinely synthesize DNA and proteins. Just because we don't know why something happened doesn't mean that God – if this character exists – had to do it.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
        • Mark

          Just don't pretend you know it all you don't. Just as Christians don't know it all.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
        • Joan

          That's a start, Mark. You are moving forward. Now google "Argument from Ignorance" and do a bit of ole home study.

          September 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  4. Brian Howel

    Normal, educated and confident people have no reasons to believe in god/gods. Religion provides moral support for the ignorant and mentally unstable people, which is good but religion is also a powerful tool to control and manipulate these people by evil leaders. Just look at the Muslim extremists and their barbaric behavior in the name of their Allah...

    September 14, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • John-117

      That's quite an arrogant statement. You are basically saying only unintelligent and insane people are religious. An intelligent person would know better that to believe your baseless claim. Religion and intelligence have nothing to do with each other. The human mind is wired to believe in something. Atheism is a philosophy, a belief system concluding that God does not exist based on various factors and life experiences. For some people, the philosophy of Atheism doesn't work and can never work, based on their view of the world.

      September 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Concluding there is not a reason to believe in an invisible, supernatural being is not a "philosophy"....

        September 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
        • John-117

          Define: Philosophy

          "The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline."

          Atheism falls under that category.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You definition is so broad it is useless. Every conclusion about the nature of reality is therefore a "philosophy"...your arguement is insipid.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        • John-117

          Debating that Atheism is not a philosophy just shows how ignorant of higher education you are.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
      • NorthVanCan

        I would really like to see them test the IQ of a thousand atheists and a thousand religious fanatics .
        That would be the end of that debate .

        September 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
        • John-117

          Galileo, Copernicus, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Sir Isaac Newton would be insulted by your accusations that religious people are unintelligent nuts.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          None of those people are well known today because of their religious belief....

          But you are right...intelligent people can be deluded.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  5. Jon Dough

    Glad to see atheism growing or rather people thinking. As science is expanding God is shrinking.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  6. Time For You To Grow Up...

    You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep-seated need to believe.".

    – Carl Sagan

    September 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Gordon Campbell

      If I poke you in the ass with a hot iron, then you'll damn sure believe that you've been poked in the ass with a hot iron, how 'bout that Mr. Sagan? It kind of works the same way with God.....nobody's going to feel the poke but the person who got poked, and nobody else is going to be able to understand how it felt, except that they be poked also.....

      September 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
      • Time For You To Grow Up...

        So, your entire argument is based on 'Because I Said So'... Got it.

        September 14, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
      • Jeebusss

        It sounds like you know a lot about being poked in the a$s.

        September 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • Hey! You!

        So God hasn't poked everyone?

        September 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
      •  

        Godless Vagabond
        So your belief is based entirely on ass poking. Now that makes way more sense!

        September 14, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
      • G to the T

        You assume that atheists have never had this experience. I did, but I dont' see it as a proof of god anymore so you can see my reluctance in accepting yours. Ask youself this – how is your experience more valid than mine and/or those of other religions (say hindu) who have also had similar experiences for Krishna?

        September 18, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • paul46

      I used to be an atheist. I had a deep-seated need to NOT believe in God. In an attempt to finally prove to myself & the world that God is a chimera I spent a lot of time searching through world religions, philosophies, history, basic science & just plain pondering, I came to the completely unexpected conclusion that I had been wrong, that there is in fact God. I would like to rephrase your statement & say that we all have a great need to know. That people's opinions differ is no reason for us to alienate or minimize one another. I respect atheists and believers.

      September 14, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
      • G to the T

        I used to be a christian, took the same journey as you and now I'm an atheist. Why do you think that is?

        September 18, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Cud ya ask ol' Carl if he cud expound upon that thought?? It's not clear.

      September 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  7. Jeebusss

    Dear Christians. Whether you are moderate or extreme, it still boils down to that you are a grown adult who thinks there are invisible people living in the sky. Your ridiculous views will not survive the next few hundred years of human development. Enjoy it while it lasts and you'll get no olive branch from me.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Mark

      Good point since for 2000 plus year it has only grown. You'll never see it dissolve one way or another because your time is but a blip on the timeline. #insignificant

      September 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
      • Andy

        Well, it only makes sense.. The human population has grown considerably in the last 2000 years, there's bound to be more naive people out there to make it grow. Doesn't make religion any more logical.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
        • Mark

          You would think it would dissipate over time as we move away from the resurrection. Not happening because God is real.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
      • Andy

        It will dissipate overtime. We're not advanced enough yet. Most of the modern world who is educated is leaning more towards fact. The bigger populations are mostly the uneducated middle east. I don't see any evidence in god in that.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
        • Mark

          Random made up facts to prove your swiss cheese theory. Stop!

          September 14, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
      • Andy

        Yea, I'm the one who believes in random facts.. Gotcha.. wow..

        September 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • paul46

      It's much worse than that. Christians (please don't exclude other religions) not only believe in invisible beings, they also believe in really arcane stuff like invisible love, invisible music, invisible mathematical abstractions, invisible exo-planets, invisible magnetism, invisible microwaves, invisible quanta etc. It's enough to make the really, really average guy nuts.

      September 14, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
      • G to the T

        That is a poor analogy and you must know it. "invisible" is much different than "ethereal" (which is what the religious would choose to call god rather than "invisible"). We have many senses and many tools to enhance those senses – all of the other "invisible" things you referenced can be explained from a purely materialistic perspective. Why invoke the supernatural when it's unnecessary?

        September 18, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  8. You

    You compare that idiot Pat Robertson to Richard Dawkins? You are stupid? One is a renowned evolutionary biologist and scholar, the other's a TV loudmouthed idiot with no accomplishments.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Jeebusss

      Her inability to make simple distinctions like this is why she's gullible enough to be a Christian in the first place.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Hey! You!

      Not true, Roberson has made a lot of money fleecing his herd.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  9. Hey! You!

    Here's a deal. Remove all references to God, ('In God We Trust', 'Under God') from the Government sphere, and we won't put in any references to Atheism.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Mark

      How would you say it, One nation under self gratifyers and the hedonistic.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
      • Hey! You!

        I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • Hey! You!

          See, no references to God, no references to atheism. Simple.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
      • Observer

        Mark,

        How about "one nation that doesn't support slavery like the Bible does"?

        September 14, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
  10. SusanStoHelit

    I like and dislike this idea.

    OK, using the worst of any group to demonize them is a bad thing. It's used a lot, people grab statements out of context, take comments that represent a radical extreme that almost no one believes in as representative of the group – lots of bad things that do not enhance dialog.

    But at the same time, far too often, people try to distance themselves from things that really are an element of their group – such as when pro-life groups that use extreme rhetoric about murdering babies – but then try to distance themselves from the terrorists they encourage when they murder people.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  11. John-117

    I went to Walmart today and didn't see God anywhere. So logically he doesn't exist.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I saw a rock today and rocks don't make themselves....so obviously Jesus did it.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
      • John-117

        No, the rock didn't have "God was here" engraved on it. Thus God does not exist.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  12. John-117

    You can't make a deal with atheists. They are all rabid screaming banshees who only want to destroy those who don't believe in their cause. Rick Grimes on the Walking Dead would have a better chance making peace with all zombie kind.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      Yet another Christian who wants us to apologize for choosing rational thought over mindless fairy tales... I feel sorry for you.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • sybaris

      Making a "deal" with religionists would be like passively endorsing willful ignorance.

      It's like if someone told you that 2+2=fish. A rational person that uses logic would feel obligated to correct them.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
      • John-117

        Biology is a highly subjective science. Its not like physics where mathematics explains something and never changes its conclusion. Biology is based on human observation. Biology Is more like "2 + 2= maybe 4, sometimes its 5. Perhaps we should be using multiplication?" Calling the theory of Evolution 100% fact is like claiming a lottery ticket will 100% be the winning ticket.

        September 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
        • Time For You To Grow Up...

          Evolution has been proven fact for decades... One cannot believe in creationism, or any equivalent, without suspending reality and rational thought.

          September 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        •  

          Godless Vagabond
          John, you're about 50 years behind. Haven't been reading much, have you?

          September 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
        • John-117

          False: The Law of Evolution

          True: The Theory of Evolution

          If biology was an objective science it would be a law, however its open to interpretation which makes it impossible to "prove" completely. This is why it is a theory. 100-200 years from now, the theory of evolution will have evolved in to a completely different theory

          September 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        •  

          Godless Vagabond
          I don't think so John. It just makes too much sense to be changed.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
        • Andy

          If you look at the whole picture (like evolution) eventually with 100% certainty I guarantee that out there "one single ticket" will win a jackpot. Just because you're not holding that particular ticket yourself and don't know exactly when doesn't make it not true.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
        • One one

          Then next time you get sick I suggest you pray instead of deeming a doctor.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
        • Andy

          Also, when you look at biology I think when a cell divides itself it's 2, not 2ish. If in fact there is an anomaly in the process, it could be solved with mathematics enough to alter your genome and remove the defect with 100% accuracy. maybe not in this day in age, but it will happen.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
      • John-117

        "Also, when you look at biology I think when a cell divides itself it's 2, not 2ish"

        Evolution is about judging the appearances of organisms and concluding that one species's anatomy is similar to another species's, meaning that perhaps one came from the other. Its only recently that biologists have concluded that dinosaurs were ancestors of birds. In fact, the Triceratops was first considered to be a real dinosaur, then it was concluded that it didn't exist. Now its back to being concluded that it existed. Biology is based on HUMAN observation and judgement. This is why scientists kept flip flopping on whether or not the Triceratops was a real dinosaur. Physics concludes 100% fact based off experiments. Biology only suggests possible conclusions.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
        • G to the T

          And if fossiles were the only proof we have for evolution you might have some kind of a point but we don't. Many other points of evidence can be found and they all support evolutionary theory.

          How about instead of trying to falsify evolution (which you could do with fossils by the way – just find one rabbit in the same layer as a t-rex and we'll talk) you show what superior theory you feel better explains the evidence we have?

          September 18, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Mark

      That's an impressive statement.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • Gus

        That wasn't.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
        • John-117

          *was

          September 14, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • atroy

      "...they are all..." hmmmm isn't that kind of the point the author is trying to make about lumping people together? By the way, I'm not screaming or ranting...just asking.

      September 14, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
  13. Ella

    It's not a religion, but it is personal. A personal RELATIONSHIP with Christ. But it is not private. Once you become a Christian it is anything but private. If you've read the bible or know anything about the life of Christ; it's all about taking the Gospel to the masses and you can't do that and keep it private. But I do agree with what Rachel had to say. There is a right and a wrong way to handle a situation, especial when dealing with a hot topic (religion, politics, etc). We need to always respect each other. We all have the right to our own beliefs. It is not up to us to decide who is right and who is wrong even if we think we know. To believe we are always right about everything (well, that makes us no better than the one we would believe to be wrong in the first place). My father was a minister and although I loved him dearly and he did a lot of good in his work for the Lord I did not always agree with his methods as his drive to get the Gospel to the masses he sometimes would (in my opinion) get over zealous which would back-fire and ultimately push some away rather than draw that individual to God. Bottom line God has given us the message to take to the masses...it is His job to draw the masses to His Son Jesus Christ. We do not need to step on anyones beliefs. Just share as the opportunity is presented. I think I've gotten off topic here. Bottom line; Rachel is so right. and I appreciate her thoughts on this topic.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      She should be attending to her hubby, but of course he won't turn down the 1/4 mil dollar motor home she bought him from book sales. Makes for pleasant fishin' trips.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • Jeffery

        Shut up, you misogynistic ass. Your jealousy at anyone who is more successful than you is palpable. Why aren't you down on your knees in front of Roberstson? Easier to beat up on women?

        September 14, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
        • lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.

          jealousy ?? God's name is Jealous. Be vewwy careful.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Paul

      Ella, you've made several false statements. One is that it is not up to us to decide who is right. It is. We make decisions like that every day. We have to. That's part of life. Have you never voted?

      Your crazy religion only survives because it is a successful meme, one that you and other deluded folk have to work to propagate.
      Why would a god need you to sell other people on its existence? Why would a god need to have a son executed to save anything?

      Do you know the term "meme"? You should read about it instead of just pushing along the Christ one that you are host to.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    September 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      Yes, it makes them worse...

      seattletimes.Com/html/health/2002901053_pray31.html

      September 14, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • keith

      Prayer changes NOTHING.
      Stop Praying and Start Thinking, THINKING can change everything.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Colin

      A good man prays
      A great man acts on Prayer!

      September 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Observer

      The Bible says that God torturously killed EVERY child, baby and fetus on the face of the earth and there apparently isn't one Christian who can name a "sin" the children, babies and fetuses committed.

      September 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  15. Don Camp

    I wonder how often non-theists get personally "poked in the eye." I have been a Christian for more than 50 years and a pastor and teacher for 25, and I've never poked anyone in the eye. Nor have I had any non-theist poke me in the nose. What happens in the public space of books and interviews and debates is, of course, a different thing. That's the nature of the media; it is a marketplace of ideas.

    Now, if you have been offended personally by a theist, I apologize. But no one needs to apologize to me for Dawkins's ideas about Christians, and I wonder why anyone needs to apologize to any non-theist for Robertson's remarks.

    But neither do I wish to squelch honest discussion and debate. Hey, we debate the merits of our favorite football team. We debate ideas in university literature and science courses. We debate political policies. Why not debate issues of faith? If you are too thin skinned to stand the heat of public debate, you doom yourself to your own ideas.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      The difference, of course, is that Dawkins simply stated a fact, while Robertson's statements are pure fiction... Robertson's organization SHOULD apologize for his lies, but alas, it won't, because it supports those lies.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Finding truth by debate is a Hegelian concept and can't work no matter what the socies from the Frankfurt School say.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • keith

      It's a matter of degree, I live in the bible belt and I am an Atheist I have some very mild evolution car stickers on my car yet my daughter who is a Special Ed. teacher is afraid to use my car to carry my grandchildren. Why, becuase ther are too many religious lunatics who might just decide they are offended by my bumper stickers and want to harass whoever is in the car.
      Don't tell me that atheists are PROVOCATIVE, all you have to do is tune into any Radio or TV religious program and you will hear real PROVOCATION. We Atheist have been beaten down for centuries by the holier than thou god squad and we are sick and tired of it. So if we react to religion in the same manner that religion reacts to us then who is too blame.
      STOP PRAYING AND START THINKING.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
      •  

        Godless Vagabond
        Thankfully, keith, I think that is starting to happen. At least I hope so. I just wish it were faster.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
        • lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.

          Is hope the A&A copycat version of prayer??

          September 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Switzerland

      Well, Don, if Robertson would quit blatantly lying about gay people, maybe – just maybe people wouldn't feel so unkindly towards him. And he offends theists and non-theists alike with his lies, so yeah, he probably should apologize for being such a bigot.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
      • lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        "gay"
        occurs 1 time in 1 verse in the KJV

        September 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • Jeffery

          How many times does ass appear?

          September 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
        • lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.

          "ass"
          occurs 86 times in 76 verses in the KJV

          September 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
        • G to the T

          KJV? Well that explains quite a bit...

          September 18, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  16. chiz3914

    Religion is man's worst invention

    September 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  17. Kenneth

    Strictly from a debate standpoint, let me help the atheists out.
    Saying "There is no God" puts you in the position of having to defend a declarative statement. You have made a statement as fact. You now have to provide supporting evidence, and as many atheists are so fond of saying, you can't prove a negative.

    Better to say, "I have personally seen no evidence that any higher being or authority exists and I choose not to take the existence of such on faith alone." If anyone wants to try to take you on from that perspective, feel free to hit them with a fish.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      Point #1 – Atheism is a BELIEF that there's no god, not a certainty.

      Point #2 – Theists declare that they're 100% certain there is a god, but provide no proof whatsoever... You're being blatantly hypocritical.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
      • Kenneth

        You haven't been following this thread very carefully. There have been numerous proclamations that God, in whatever form you choose to believe in him/her/it, does not can not never has never will exist. and most will brook no argument otherwise. Like many believers, who also brook no denial of their personal faith.

        How am I being hypocritical? I wasn't promoting one point while practicing another. I was merely giving certain people a better way of phrasing their position so that it could not be rationally argued against.

        September 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
        • Time For You To Grow Up...

          You were asking atheists for proof of their claims while being unable to provide any proof of yours; that's hypocrisy... Also, it's impossible to prove that ANYTHING doesn't exist; that's a logical fallacy called 'negative proof'... Google 'Russell's Teapot' if you want to be entertained.

          September 14, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • Kenneth

          No, I wasn't asking atheists to do anything. Read my post more carefully. I was saying, if you phrase (position X) this way, you are put in this position (to provide proof). If you phrase it another way, you are not.
          My statement applies to any declarative statement.
          You are trying to pick a fight that doesn't exist.

          September 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
        • Time For You To Grow Up...

          Saying that you choose to believe in the existence of god based on faith alone is a cop-out of the highest order... Faith is just another form of insanity, used by people to justify beliefs that are incompatible with rational thought.

          September 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • Kenneth

          Okay Time. You have proven that you are incapable of a rational conversation. You win.
          Feel better?

          September 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
        • Time For You To Grow Up...

          No response to my points?? Either you lack the ability to understand them, or you have no rational response... Yeah, I understand.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
        •  

          Godless Vagabond
          Let me summarize from my viewpoint. There is no god and there is no need to prove it. Common sense and lack of a contrary proof are enough.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
        • Gordon Campbell

          So the Pope said if you don't believe in God, you can still go to heaven. That part was taken out of context. The rest of his statement concerned asking God forgiveness for not believing in God (preferably sometime before you have to make the journey to God and answer for your non-belief). So atheists seem to have latched onto that statement and think they're going to get a free ticket to heaven? So that's cool and oh so perfect and easy, it doesn't matter what you believe in, we're all going the same place, right?. What do you think's going to happen when you get to heaven if you don't believe in God? Are you going to stand around drinking coffee and shooting the breeze with all the other non-believers, ignoring the Big Bright Thing standing over there in the corner (talking to all the believers) that you don't believe in? Is that how it's going to work? Guess what? That's a do-over of your entire life!!! Really?????!!!!!

          September 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
      • Kenneth

        Time, I have explained three times the point I was making and responded to your "points" as best I could.
        Go troll somewhere else.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • SusanStoHelit

      Ken – what you describe IS what most atheists say. We don't say there is no god – we say we do not believe in any god, nor do we see any evidence that would make us think otherwise.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
      • Kenneth

        Susan, I am responding strictly to the posts on this forum, and many people who pass themselves off as atheists, but may well just be trolls trying to start a ruckus, make that very statement. There is no higher being or authority. No room for discussion. I know many atheists and agnostics who do not feel the need to be militant, as I know many people of faith who feel no need to proselytize. But few of them are on here.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
      • Gordon Campbell

        Ummm...I've met some atheists who emphatically insist there is no God...just like I don't speak for all "Christians", neither do you speak for all "atheists".....it's a matter of degrees...so you might be a 33rd degree atheist (moving toward being a perfect atheist in your atheistic understanding)...whereas....there's some other lesser, lower more blunt and profound atheists who flat out don't think God exists, nor should any of his followers.....

        September 14, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • keith

      Keep your pseudo intellectual comments to yourself, we atheists are sick and tired of them.
      We are treated worse than dirt under the feet of the god squad and yet they complain that we do not treat their idiotic beliefs WITH RESPECT. When we atheists are treated as equals and are respected then perhaps the god squad will get some respect from us.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
      • Kenneth

        I'll say what I want, stool sample. It's a free country.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
        • Dr. Mu

          Kenneth has been sampling a lot of stools. He knows what he is talking about from direct oral experience.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
        • Kenneth

          Ah, is Dr. Mu one of those trolls I was warning Susan about?

          September 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
        •  

          Godless Vagabond
          If he gives an address, I'll send him mine.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
        • Wendy

          Kenneth, you look to be the one who started the gutter insults in this thread. Maybe you should take a breather.

          September 14, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  18. lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Aaaaaahhh, the pleasure of sellin' books is endless and the same with sellin' evolution. CNN is a member of the tribe of "Clickons" and is actually quite psychopathic, for a man made creature.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Switzerland

      Then what are you doing here, commenting and helping "The Man" make some $?
      You make even more sense than usual, and that's saying something.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        Have much gun crime in Switzerland?? Everybody packin' and all.

        September 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  19. omboontoo

    Atheists are not an organization, a group, a cult, a sect, or a religion. We just happen to be people who are categorized as those who don't believe in god/gods. All athiests have different opinions and ideas based on different sources from different backgrounds. We do not have leader, priests, ministers, or preachers. So when Richard Dawkins says something you're not okay with, you must judge him as an individual. However, when Pat Robertson, who is a minister for your religion, says something horrific, his awful judgements are coming from same holy book you have as the foundation for your religion. These things you are comparing are not the same.

    September 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Gordon Campbell

      Then why do you need a name "atheists"? When your short <100 year life is over, you'll not be bragging to anybody anywhere that you were right, that you were an "atheist", will you? You'll be nothing, because that's what you believe in. Yes indeed, for you, there is in fact no God. You have made that choice, and guess what you'll find. No God. Forever.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
      • Hey! You!

        When logic and reason fail, try threats and fear.

        September 14, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
        • Kate

          Check these Messages and make your own opinion:
          http://www.thewarningsecondcoming.com

          September 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
      • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

        Yes, because if you believe only then does a God exist. If you don't believe then God does not. Great logic, it only shows that God(s) exist only in your mind.

        September 14, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • Gordon Campbell

          The mind is indeed a very powerful thing, but most especially when it's clamped shut.....

          September 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • Jon Dough

        It's not a name but a description.

        September 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      "................................. We just happen to be people..........................."

      Who are "WEGODIANS". It's the default when you gwow weary of the wurld god.

      Jhn 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

      You're not as schmart as the educratists said. It was flattery to get yer dough.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Matt

      Atheism today is indeed a cult and their god is so called "science'. Teachings of godless delusional men who have agreed in their rebellion against God. Atheism is a CULT!

      September 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  20. Great Expose'

    For a great Biblical expose' showing that being Gay is not a sin. http://matthewvines.tumblr.com/

    September 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Matt

      Here are a couple verses on the subject. "Those who practice such things will NOT inherit the kingdom of God" ....I Corinthians 6:9 "Men who abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their persons the due penalty of their error." Roman 1:27 "If a man lies with a male, both of them have commited an abomination." Levitucus 20:13 And of course some of us have heard of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is where the term "Sodomy" is derived. These should help those who are seeking the truth on the matter.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Great Expose'

      Gay is a word stolen by ho mose xuals to try to hide a very disgusting practice.No amount of word twisting will make ho mose xuality any less of a deadly, sinful abomination.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Biblical Truth

      What's truly disgusting is the alarming rate of abortions, divorces, and the contraction of herpes by Straight people! As to those Scriptures you cited, they do not apply as they are being used in an inappropriate manner with prejudice against LGBT people and are not making reference to them at all as per learned theologians. Jesus said not one word against Gay people and neither did God in the Ten Commandments because they are non-issues to both. But sure sounds like you guys are quite unsure about your own orientations! You know what they say. End of story.

      September 14, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.